Single-nanostructure bandgap engineering enabled by magnetic-pulling thermal evaporation growth
Realizing the substantial potential of bottom-up 1D semiconductor nanostructures in developing functional nanodevices calls for dedicated single-nanostructure bandgap engineering by various growth approaches. Although thermal evaporation has been advised as a facile approach for most semiconductors to form 1D nanostructures from bottom-up, its capability of achieving single-nanostructure bandgap engineering was considered a challenge. In 2011, we succeeded in the direct growth of composition-graded CdS1−xSex (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) nanowires by upgrading the thermal-evaporation tube furnace with a home-made magnetic-pulling module. This report aims to provide a comprehensive review of the latest advances in the single-nanostructure bandgap engineering enabled by the magnetic-pulling thermal evaporation growth. The report begins with the description of different magnetic-pulling thermal evaporation strategies associated with diverse examples of composition-engineered 1D nanostructures. Following is an elaboration on their optoelectronic applications based on the resulting single-nanostructure bandgap engineering, including monolithic white-light sources, proof-of-concept asymmetric light propagation and wavelength splitters, monolithic multi-color and white-light lasers, broadband-response photodetectors, high-performance transistors, and recently the most exciting single-nanowire spectrometer. In the end, this report concludes with some personal perspectives on the directions toward which future research might be advanced.